Tag Archives: Say Anything…

Remembering John Mahoney

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Remembering John Mahoney

While filming his 1989 debut, Say Anything…, director Cameron Crowe found himself working with esteemed character actor John Mahoney. Mahoney, who died February 4th, 2018, was a formidable stage performer before portraying Jim Court, the divorced father of Diane (Iona Skye) who becomes embroiled in an IRS investigation while simultaneously trying to deter his daughter’s budding romance with Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack).

While the role ostensibly made Mahoney the film’s antagonist, Crowe tells Rolling Stone that the actor arrived on set “with a bounce in his step and a twinkle in his eye” and “brought joy to every scene and every take.” Most of all, the director remembered the actor’s brilliant laugh, which rang out long after they finished shooting one of the film’s most intense and emotional scenes.

John Mahoney came into our Say Anything… world with a bounce in his step and a twinkle in his eye. He had mighty Chicago cred too. He’d come from the esteemed Steppenwolf acting troupe, was already friends with John Cusack and had just performed in John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves on the Broadway stage. Mahoney brought joy to every scene and every take. The more dramatic and powerful the performance, the louder his unmistakable laugh as soon as I called “cut.”

You see, John Mahoney’s laugh wasn’t just a laugh. It was a two-note foghorn; a call to arms that said, “That’s right, when it’s good, it’s fun!”   The biggest Mahoney laugh might have been when we shot the scene in which Lloyd (Cusack) visits Jim Court on the prison yard, bringing him a final letter from his daughter Diane (Ione Skye). The scene was fraught with tension. We discussed many different tonal versions, deciding on a quiet one. We stood out by the barbed prison fence. Action.

“How you doing?” Lloyd asks Jim Court, almost tenderly. Mahoney then used all the character frustration and love and pain he’d been building for the entire shoot of the movie and just yelled: “I’M INCARCERATED, LLOYD!” That moment and John Cusack’s reaction is one of those moments I’ll be forever grateful for. They sure made a young director feel good. And when the take was over, you know what happened. The Laugh. And it was loud.

A few months later, I ran into John Mahoney again. I was in my neighborhood McDonald’s and felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around. It was Mahoney. He saw the curious look on my face. This consummate actor, born for the stage, just standing waiting for a Big Mac. The laugh was unforgettable. With skill and hilarity and soul and pain and a dash of mystery, John Mahoney always did make unforgettable look easy. I hope this made you laugh, John, wherever you are, feeling all this love from so many. Bravo, my friend.

Courtesy of Rolling Stone – Cameron Crowe – February 6, 2018

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Feb 24, 2018

Say Anything… Filming Locations

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To celebrate today’s anniversary for Say Anything…, I’ve teamed up once again with the amazing Lindsay Blake to revisit all the locations from the 1989 film. While some 2nd unit footage was filmed in Seattle, all the key locations were filmed in the Los Angeles area. Let’s dive in!

 1. Corey Flood’s House (2545 Ganesha Avenue, Altadena) – Though an establishing shot of a traditional two-story home at 3627 Northwest 65th Court in Seattle was used to portray the residence of Lloyd’s gumptious BFF Corey Flood (Lili Taylor), all actual filming took place a good 1,100 miles away at a dwelling in Altadena.


 

2. Lloyd’s Apartment (318 South Canyon Blvd #3, Monrovia) – The non-descript apartment building where Lloyd lives with his sister, Constance (who was played by Cusack’s real life sister, Joan), and nephew, Jason (Glenn Walker Harris Jr.), is another San Gabriel Valley locale. The two-story complex can be found on a shady street in Monrovia, looking much the same today as it did onscreen 28 years ago. The actual interior of Unit #3, including the bathroom where Lloyd calls Diane for the first time, was utilized in the film.

3. Lakewood High School Graduation – Santa Monica College Amphitheatre (1900 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica) – The large amphitheater where Diane gives her famous “I’ve glimpsed our future and all I can say is, ‘Go back!’” valedictorian speech is sadly no longer standing. Formerly located at Santa Monica College, the arena was razed in 2009 to make way for a student services building.

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Apr 14, 2017

Lost in Translation – Say Anything…

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Non per soldi ma per amore. That’s the Italian name for Say Anything... The English translation is “not for the money…but for love.

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Jul 17, 2015

Say Anything… Turns 25!

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Going through boxes recently, we found the very first draft of “Say Anything….”  It began as a story about a golden girl, Diane Court, who also worked in her father’s nursing home, helping the residents through their “Golden Years.”  Over time, and many more drafts, the story also became about the lovelorn kick-boxing suitor — Lloyd Dobler — who identified himself and his mission in the very first scene.  Lloyd was so much fun to write as a character, and the collaboration to come with actor John Cusack remains a crackling reminder of what happens when the right people come together.

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Apr 14, 2014

Streaming in March

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Three of Cameron’s films are streaming in HD this month on Netflix. You can check out  Say Anything…Pearl Jam Twenty and Vanilla Sky via Netflix Watch Instantly if you are so inclined…

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Mar 4, 2014

The Spectacular Classics – Say Anything… & Almost Famous

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In conjunction with the release of James Ponsoldt‘s new coming of age film The Spectacular Now, there’s a unique opportunity to see other classic coming of age films on the big screen. This includes two of Cameron’s films (Almost Famous and Say Anything…), along with Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused and John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club.

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Jul 3, 2013

Paste: 50 Best Romantic Comedies

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It’s all you Annie Hall!

The always great Paste magazine shares their 50 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time and we thought you’d enjoy a little discussion around it.

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May 17, 2013

30 Greatest Rock & Roll Movie Moments

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Rob Sheff from Rolling Stone recently shared his 30 Greatest Rock & Roll Movie Moments. It’s a fun list and worth sharing with you all too!

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Mar 25, 2013


  • Almost Famous- Starz
  • E-Town- Amazon,Hulu
  • Fast Times- Cinemax
  • Jerry Maguire- Amazon, Hulu
  • Vanilla Sky- Hulu